Amico: Lakers ax Scott for following orders
Byron Scott played along with the Kobe Bryant Farewell Tour and was rewarded with a prime spot on the chopping block.
Thanks for playing, the Lakers said. And just like that, Scott was gone.
I'm not here to tell you Scott is a great coach, or that he would've lead the Lakers back to contention. I have doubts about both.
But what were the Lakers expecting?
This season was all about Kobe and his retirement. I guess that makes sense -- although nobody else got this type of over-the-top Laker goodbye.
Not Magic Johnson, not Jerry West, not Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. At least, not to the extent Bryant did.
The Lakers willingly lost a season. They purposely mailed it in. They wanted too land another draft lottery pick, and make sure Kobe and everyone else was happy with his goodbye.
They were OK with the season being a mess. And it was.
If anything, Scott deserved credit for doing things exactly the way management wanted.
Lakers brass wanted D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and other youngsters to gain experience while the team took its lumps.
Mostly, though, the Lakers wanted the season to be all about a way-past-his-prime Kobe.
Scott made both of the above happen.
Fittingly, the Lakers stunk.
So somehow, Scott lost his job for doing exactly what was expected.
"We would like to thank Byron for his hard work, dedication and loyalty over the last two years, but have decided it is in the best interest of the organization to make a change at this time," GM Mitch Kupchak said.
I'm rarely in favor of people getting fired, but how Kupchak has managed to keep a job while the Lakers dump coach after coach is beyond me.
Either way, the Lakers are turning into what the Clippers used to be. The difference is, the Lakers have tradition, a dedicated (and demanding) fan base, a culture that is supposed to be about winning and winning big.
They deliberately blew that all off this season.
Scott may not have been the coach to get things turned around. But hey man, he was just following the game plan.
For that, he hardly deserved to lose his job.